Plant nutrients are, of course, the building blocks of all plant life. If the plant gets too little or too much of a particular nutrient, it will show one or more of the following symptoms:

1. Chlorosis - This symptom results when the plant is unable to produce or maintain an adequate level of the green pigment, chlorophyll. Instead, the underlying color of the plant tissue, yellow, will begin to dominate.

Although several factors may cause a plant to become chlorotic, one of the key reasons is that the plant lacks nutrients necessary to build chlorophyll molecules. Key to this is nitrogen (N) but other nutrients such as magnesium (Mg) are also important to chlorophyll production.

2. Poor Growth Rate - If the proper level and types of nutrients are not available to a plant, if will not grow at the rate expected.

3. Necrosis - This is the death of the tissue which results in it turning brown. Generally, this is more of a problem with an excessive amount of nutrients i.e. toxicity.

4. Lack of New Growth - At times, a nutrient deficiency will allow the plant to look normal but there will be no new growth.


Note: We have provided some general information and observations on this topic aimed at the home gardener. Before you take any serious action in your landscape, check with your state's land grant university's Cooperative Extension Service for the most current, appropriate, localized recommendations.


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